The Town of Wellesley depends on the active participation of its citizens in governance of the Town. Wellesley has 11 Boards and Committees on the ballot at the Annual Town election each year in March. The 2020 election will be held on March 17.
Lauren Duprey is one of three candidates running for the two open three-year terms on the School Committee. The five-member School Committee is made up of local residents. Like other town boards, members of the School Committee receive no payment for their volunteer services. The Committee’s responsibilities are to develop and manage school policies; support the allocation of resources by overseeing budget and facilities; hire and review the superintendent of schools; and advocate for the school district.
We invited the candidates to answer a few questions about their qualifications and their priorities for the Town of Wellesley. Below are candidate Lauren Duprey’s answers. The other two candidates’ Q&As will appear in subsequent posts.
The Swellesley Report: What is your background and what qualifies you for this position?
Lauren Duprey: As the mom of two pre-school aged kids, I’m deeply invested in the success of our schools – my family and I are in this for the long haul!
I have a BS in Biology from Harvard University and MBA from MIT Sloan. My mother is a public-school teacher in a nearby town, and I graduated from public schools in Massachusetts.
Professionally, I built my career in business and Human Resources. I have been responsible for managing people and money — two critical skills for School Committee. The School Committee has the largest budget in town (~$80 million). I have managed multi-million-dollar operating budgets and capital projects. In addition, my background in HR prepares me for the School Committee’s work on union contract negotiation and sensitive people-related topics.
SR: If elected, what do you hope to accomplish on the School Committee?
Lauren Duprey: I will bring a fresh and unique perspective. If elected, I would be the only School Committee member with preschool/elementary-aged kids. Achieving a diversity of backgrounds on town committees enables us to best serve our community.
I will work to achieve a path forward on the elementary school building/Hardy-Hunnewell & Upham (HHU) project that garners town-wide support. The HHU ballot question will give the town a chance to weigh in on this which is important. I’m eager to build consensus and compromise to move this project forward.
Additionally, my background in science makes me passionate about advancing curriculum in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM). We need to ensure balance, though technology can also present risks (such as too much screen time for young kids).
The physical, emotional and social wellbeing of kids is also a priority. Rates of depression and anxiety continue to rise for adolescents nationwide. I would like to help the schools partner with families on this topic.
SR: What is your hot-button issue?
Lauren Duprey: The elephant in the room for this election is the HHU project to address the elementary school facilities. I have had deep conversations and ongoing dialogue with people from both sides and those in between. Every single person I’ve spoken to values education, safety and protecting our natural and financial resources.
Our kids watch everything we do and, given this topic relates to schools, it is even more likely they are watching. I am committed to setting a good example of open mindedness, respect and empathy.
SR: How can voters best reach you?
Lauren Duprey: Listening and learning from people is something I love. Please email me anytime at [email protected]. If you’d like to learn more about me I also have a website – electlaurenduprey.com